Research done by Leicester’s De Montfort University, has found that 10-year-olds are losing around a night’s worth of sleep each week staying up to use social media.
The research led by Psychology lecturer Dr John Shaw, also suggested that around 12.5 per cent of 10-year-olds were voluntarily waking themselves in the middle of the night to check notifications.
Dr Shaw said his team had questioned 60 children, all aged ten, from schools around the city in order to get the results.
Between them, they got an average of 8.7 hours sleep each night, less than the recommended nine to 11 hours for their age group. Over a week, that meant they were losing an average of one night’s sleep a week.
Nearly 70 per cent of the group said they used social media for more than four hours a day, with two-thirds saying they were using it in the hours before bedtime.
Dr Shaw said: “Primary school children should be getting nine to 11 hours per night. Even if you get just one hour less, it’s the equivalent of one night’s sleep lost per week. So, it does add up.
“The fear of missing out, which is driven by social media, is directly affecting their sleep. They want to know what their friends are doing, and if you’re not online when something is happening, it means you’re not taking part in it.
“And it can be a feedback loop. If you are anxious you are more likely to be on social media, you are anxious as a result of that. And you’re looking at something, that’s stimulating and delaying sleep.”